Previous 1 2 3 Next 80 Replies Latest reply: Sep 15, 2015 6:17 AM by Meg St._Clair Branched to a new discussion.
aai92 Level 1 (0 points)

So after over 3 hours on the phone with Verizon, Apple, then Verizon again trying to figure out why I can't send or receive mms messages unless Cellular Data is on, doing a hundred soft/hard/network/every reset imaginable, a Verizon rep this morning told me "you cannot use mms unless the cellular data is switched to "on", and there are NO PHONES that will allow you to send mms without it on".

Ok, so how come when I had flip phones that didn't even have data plans, I was able to send MMS? And the biggest question - how come I never ever turned my 3G on on my droid and yet could still send SMS? Why does the iPhone force me to keep cellular data on, eating away at my 150mb data plan that I can barely even afford and would rather only have wifi on?

iPhone 5, iOS 6
  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)

    MMS is sent over a carrier's data network, not the cellular network. That's why.

  • aai92 Level 1 (0 points)

    That doesn't at all explain why I need "cellular data" toggled on for mms. Apple and Verizon both said mms uses your text messaging plan (which I have unlimited) and not your data plan. That seemed to be the case with my android because I never used my data plan. But with this iPhone 5 I have to have my data plan draining to be able to send or receive mms. It makes no sense.

  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)

    It is what it is. You want to use MMS? Then you need cellular data turned on. Turn it MMS.

  • aai92 Level 1 (0 points)

    If there was really no other solution I don't know why apple would keep transferring me to senior advisors who also cannot answer the question. Thanks.

    Has anyone had this problem and have any info from other advisors?

  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)

    Look here, from Apple:


    The following table shows the requirements and capabilities of Messages on iOS.

    Device RequirediOS RequiredConnectivity RequiredRecipient Types AllowedContent Types Allowed
    SMSiPhone1.0 and laterCellularPhone numberText only
    MMSiPhone 3G and later3.1 and laterCellular dataPhone numberText, audio1, photos, and video
    iMessageiPhone, iPad, or iPod touch5.0 and laterCellular data or Wi-FiPhone number or email addressText, audio1, photos, and video

    See what it says about MMS? That answer your question.

  • aai92 Level 1 (0 points)

    As I said before if it was that simple Apple wouldn't have had me on the phone for hours before I finally had to hang up and go to work.

  • wjosten Level 10 (94,210 points)

    It is that simple, whether you want to believe it or not.


    Good luck.

  • alphonse110712 Level 1 (0 points)

    This post has been quite helpful, as I went through something trying to figure out why I couldn't do this. Now I understand.


    Here's my question: if I have 3G off and someone sends me a photo, will I get it once i turn 3G on? The guy at the Verizon store told me I should and to call customer service. Now I'm not so sure.


    I have the iPhone 4.

  • cheonweb Level 4 (3,450 points)

    Cellular data is one thing, 3G is another. With Cellular Data ON and 3G OFF you will get the photo but with very slow connection.

  • alphonse110712 Level 1 (0 points)

    I don't follow. When I turn on the cellular data switch, I see the 3G symbol at the top of the phone. When it's off, it's not there. What is the difference?

  • cheonweb Level 4 (3,450 points)

    Don't you have these settings?

    2012-11-09 01.54.35.png

  • Phil0124 Level 7 (20,939 points)

    3G is the connection type.


    Celular Data is the transfer method. It means its using the Cellular Data or Carrier's internet connection to transfer.


    The connection can be 2G, Edge, 3G or LTE/4G  each method is faster than the previous one.


    Turn on 3G or LTE/4G and the transfer is faster than through 2G, Edge, or 3G.


    Basically you can have cell data at different speeds. Depending on the connection type available.


    The Phone will usually just connect to the fastest network available that it can.  For the most part its not something you choose though. Its something the phone selects based on what's available in the area. Though you can prevent it from connecting to 4G/LTE.


    If you turn off Cellular Data, it simply won't transfer anything that requires an internet connection, but the Phone / voice connection will still be at whatever connection type it can find.  However the logo won't show up because its just using the voice connection.

  • Darko Ibrahimpasic1 Level 2 (325 points)

    Ok look at it this way.. if you turn off your cell data on your iphone, forget is it 3g or 4g or lte or whatever. if you flip that top switch to off, the cell data symbol next to the signal strenght bars will go away.. Meaning your phone is basically dead in the water except SMS and phonecalls. iphone with no cell or wifi data is kinda like a brick but i am sure you know that. I am sure you have your reasons for doing that..


    realisticly if you get an MMS sent to you while you are off the cell data network, it should come in once you turn it back on. Maybe not instantly but in next 30 min or so. Same thing happens when you go into airplane mode and disable all radios. Once you exit airplane mode all your voicemails and SMS messages come in. imessages do not go thought when data or all radios are off, they instead get rerouted and sent as SMS and pop up on your phone once you re-enable the radios.


    if if were you, you are better getting off the unlimited text plana and pay more for some more data. with imessage and so many freaking iphones out there you wont need that many messages. every blue message is free remember. you only pay for green messages.

  • alphonse110712 Level 1 (0 points)

    These are scrrenshots of my phone with the cellular on and off.  There is no 3G switch.  Notice that in the "on" position, there is a 3G symbol at the top of the screen:



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